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Converting Google Earth Formatted Longitude/Latitude points to decimal degrees

Tuesday October 20 2015 at 09:00

KeywordsGoogle Earth DMS String Decimal Degrees

Google Earth degrees minutes and seconds string to decimal degrees number. Note: All code is in COGO package downloadable from this web site.

I had cause, today, to mark the location of something in Google Earth and then provide the longitude/latitude values to a website that wanted them in decimal degrees.

Here is my location as a Google Placemark Location.

Google Placemark Properties Dialog

Note that the longitude/latitude values are coded as formatted degrees, minutes and seconds as follows:

Latitude Longitude
43 0’50.60“S 14712’18.20“E

I wrote a DMS2DD function in my PL/SQL COGO package many years ago. I decided to use it to do the conversion.

  1. SELECT round(cogo.dms2dd(' 43 0''50.60"S'),9) AS latitude,
  2.        round(cogo.dms2dd('14712''18.20"E'),9) AS longitude
  3.   FROM dual;
  4. --
  5. LATITUDE               LONGITUDE
  6. ---------------------- ----------------------
  7. -43.014055556          147.205055556
  8. ==<nbsp/>==
  9. 1 ROWS selected
  10. ==<nbsp/>==

Here is the source code for the function.

  1.     --
  2.     -- Support function STRTOK
  3.     -- (Added in response to Fabio Caroletta)
  4.     --
  5.     -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6.     -- @function   : StrTok
  7.     -- @precis     : Simple string tokeniser.
  8.     -- @version    : 1.0
  9.     -- @usage      : function StrTok(
  10.     --                                p_str in varchar2,
  11.     --                                p_delim in varchar2
  12.     --                              )
  13.     --                        return stringarray deterministic;
  14.     --               eg tokens := StrTok('299900, 5200000, 300000, 5200100',' ,');
  15.     -- @param      : p_Str   : String containing tokens for extraction.
  16.     -- @paramtype  : p_Str   : string.
  17.     -- @param      : p_delim : String containg one or more token separators.
  18.     -- @paramtype  : p_Delim : String
  19.     -- @return     : Tokens  : A list of tokens (string).
  20.     -- @rtnType    : Tokens  : Table of tokens (like a varray).
  21.     -- @note       : Does not throw exceptions
  22.     -- @history    : Simon Greener, Feb 2005 - Original coding.
  23.     --
  24.     FUNCTION strtok(p_str IN varchar2, p_delim IN varchar2)
  26.        DETERMINISTIC
  27.       IS
  28.         v_numtok  NUMBER;
  29.         v_length  NUMBER;
  30.         v_outside NUMBER;
  31.         v_char    CHAR(1);
  32.         v_strtok_vals STRINGARRAY;
  33.       BEGIN
  34.         -- initialise strtok_vals array
  35.         v_strtok_vals := STRINGARRAY('');
  36.         v_numtok := 0;
  37.         v_length := LENGTH(p_str);
  38.         v_outside := 1;
  39.         FOR i IN 1..v_length loop
  40.          v_char := SUBSTR(p_str,i,1);
  41.          IF instr(p_delim, v_char) <> 0 THEN
  42.            -- outside
  43.            v_outside := 1;
  44.            v_strtok_vals.EXTEND;
  45.            v_strtok_vals(v_strtok_vals.LAST) := '';
  46.          ELSE
  47.            -- inside
  48.            IF (v_outside = 1) THEN
  49.              v_numtok := v_numtok + 1;
  50.            END IF;
  51.            v_strtok_vals(v_strtok_vals.LAST) := v_strtok_vals(v_strtok_vals.LAST) || v_char;
  52.            v_outside := 0;
  53.          END IF;
  54.        END LOOP;
  55.        -- Return value
  56.        RETURN v_strtok_vals;
  57.     END strtok;
  58.     --
  59.     -- Main function
  60.     --
  61.     FUNCTION DMS2DD(strDegMinSec IN varchar2)
  63.     IS
  64.        i               NUMBER;
  65.        intDmsLen       NUMBER; --Length of original string
  66.        strCompassPoint CHAR(1);
  67.        strNorm         varchar2(16); --Will contain normalized string
  68.        strDegMinSecB   varchar2(100);
  69.        blnGotSeparator INTEGER;      -- Keeps track of separator sequences
  70.        arrDegMinSec    stringarray;  --  TYPE stringarray is table of varchar2(2048) ;
  71.        dDeg            NUMBER := 0;
  72.        dMin            NUMBER := 0;
  73.        dSec            NUMBER := 0;
  74.        strChr          CHAR(1);
  75.     BEGIN
  76.        -- Remove leading and trailing spaces
  77.        strDegMinSecB := REPLACE(strDegMinSec,' ',NULL);
  78.        -- assume no leading and trailing spaces?
  79.        intDmsLen := LENGTH(strDegMinSecB);
  80.        blnGotSeparator := 0; -- Not in separator sequence right now
  81.        -- Loop over string, replacing anything that is not a digit or a
  82.        -- decimal separator with
  83.        -- a single blank
  84.        FOR i IN 1..intDmsLen LOOP
  85.           -- Get current character
  86.           strChr := SubStr(strDegMinSecB, i, 1);
  87.           -- either add character to normalized string or replace
  88.           -- separator sequence with single blank
  89.           IF InStr('0123456789,.', strChr) > 0 THEN
  90.              -- add character but replace comma with point
  91.              IF (strChr <> ',') THEN
  92.                 strNorm := strNorm || strChr;
  93.              ELSE
  94.                 strNorm := strNorm || '.';
  95.              END IF;
  96.              blnGotSeparator := 0;
  97.           ElsIf InStr('neswNESW',strChr) > 0 THEN -- Extract Compass Point if present
  98.             strCompassPoint := strChr;
  99.           ELSE
  100.              -- ensure only one separator is replaced with a blank -
  101.              -- suppress the rest
  102.              IF blnGotSeparator = 0 THEN
  103.                 strNorm := strNorm || ' ';
  104.                 blnGotSeparator := 0;
  105.              END IF;
  106.           END IF;
  107.        END Loop;
  108.        -- Split normalized string into array of max 3 components
  109.        arrDegMinSec := strtok(strNorm, ' ');
  110.        --convert specified components to double
  111.        i := arrDegMinSec.COUNT;
  112.        IF i >= 1 THEN
  113.           dDeg := TO_NUMBER(arrDegMinSec(1));
  114.        END IF;
  115.        IF i >= 2 THEN
  116.           dMin := TO_NUMBER(arrDegMinSec(2));
  117.        END IF;
  118.        IF i >= 3 THEN
  119.           dSec := TO_NUMBER(arrDegMinSec(3));
  120.        END IF;
  121.        -- convert components to value
  122.        RETURN (CASE WHEN UPPER(strCompassPoint) IN ('S','W')
  123.                     THEN -1
  124.                     ELSE 1
  125.                 END
  126.                *
  127.                (dDeg + dMin / 60 + dSec / 3600));
  128.     END DMS2DD;

I hope this function is useful to someone.

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Comment [4]

Simon. Thanks for this. I’ve been looking for this. I took the liberty of converting your function to plpgsql. You are right that pl/sql and plpgsql are pretty similar so it was a relatively painless conversion.

Regina 18 February 2009, 19:39 #

Hi Simon,
this function returns a error for strtok
PLS-00201: identifier ‘STRTOK’ must be declared

can you provide the correct declaration?

many many thanks


Fabio Caroletta 19 October 2015, 21:28 #


Apologies for the lack of STRTOK function. I have extracted it from the COGO package (in which the DMS2DD function also resides) and added it to the article.

I hope this solves the issue for you.


Simon Greener 20 October 2015, 09:02 #

Dear Sir,
I am searching about some one with experience on mapping chart data.
how to draw margins with latitude and longitude graduations on marine chart like
plotting sheet (with variable scale) used for drawing a LOP’s (Line of postion).

Djamel AIT AMRANE 10 May 2017, 05:02 #